Tiger Woods returns to PGA Tour

VIDEO Tiger Woods nearly makes eagle finishes off 1st birdie in PGA Tour return			@PGATour

VIDEO Tiger Woods nearly makes eagle finishes off 1st birdie in PGA Tour return @PGATour

Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, including his last major in the 2008 US Open, but missed the cut in the Farmers Insurance Open this time a year ago.

Tee shot to par-three catches the left rough, but a cracking pitch looks likely to find the hole before it runs out of pace. His long eagle putt was on line but stopped about two inches from the hole.

Woods (42) showed obvious signs of rust but he also showed no little power and some of his old flair with the irons, as he nearly aced the 189 yard 16th on the South Course to get back to level par. The putt just slides by and it's another par on the card.

His shot out left him three feet to save par, but his putt lipped out.

"It was fun to feel that competitive rush again - (to) have a scorecard in my hand and try and post a number", said Woods, playing his first Tour event since missing the cut here last year in an abortive bid to return from more than a year on the sidelines.

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The 42-year-old is on the comeback trail after undergoing apparently successful spinal fusion surgery on his lower back last April.

"I've got to hit my irons better than I did today", Woods said.

Woods hit a very high 7-iron and hit his first green in regulation for the day. "I'm going to grind, give it everything I possibly have".

The South Course, which hosted the 2008 US Open that Woods won, typically is far stronger than the North at Torrey Pines.

Finau's seven-under 65 on the North course gave him a one-shot lead over fellow Americans Ryan Palmer and Ted Potter Jr. With virtually no wind making this a day for reasonable scoring, Woods was tied for 84th and will start the second round on the North Course just outside the cut line.

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Woods' final birdie of the day was his most spectacular, a smooth a 6-iron from 170 metres rolling perilously close to an ace before finishing inches from the hole. Terrific pitch shot sets up tap-in par.

"It was fun to compete again, it's fun to be out there", Woods told Golf Channel.

"He hit the same club (as me) and it came out like a completely different window", Reed said. "I missed one at 13, but I hit a lot of good ones, which is good, it's a good sign going into tomorrow".

HOLE 3 (par 3): Hits 3-iron a bit fat, leaves him right of green. Terrific bunker shot but misses tricky 3-footer for par. He scored his second a year later during the third round at the Waste Management Phoenix Open on the rowdy 16th hole, a moment that produced a famous celebration. He got up and down for par from deep rough behind the second and eighth greens, and he saved par from a greenside bunker on No. 7.

"The high 6-iron on 16 was handsome - not because he hit it to a foot, but because it was the shot he was trying to hit", LaCava told The Post. It's hard to make birdies when you're not giving yourself any looks.

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